Most Popular Candle Scents {best and strongest candles compared}

When it comes to buying scented candles, there’s a lot to think about. You’ll definitely want to choose a candle with a great scent, but you should also know that some candles smell stronger and last a lot longer than others.

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This candle buying guide compares the most popular scented candles in the world to help you choose the best, most fragrant candles, with popular scents that we’re sure you’ll love.

This post contains affiliate links. Please see our disclosure for all the details.

What are the best luxury candles?

If you’re in a hurry and just looking for the best candles to buy online right now, we’ve rounded up the best scented candles on Amazon. These all have five-star reviews and would make fantastic gifts for your loved ones. 

Best long lasting: Nella Naturals Wooden Wick Soy Candles

Nella Naturals candles promise a burn time of over 100 hours. Handmade in the USA from 100% natural soy wax, these luxury scented candles available in a choice of intense fragrances and include wooden wicks which gently pop and crackle as the candle burns.

Best affordable: Glade Jar Candles

Glade candles come in pretty glass jars, have strong and lasting fragrances, yet cost significantly less than most other candles. Buying a twin pack, makes these candles even more affordable. Infused with essential oils, Glade jar candles come in a choice of seasonal fragrances.

Best for men: Bath & Body Works White Barn Candle in Mahogany Teakwood High Intensity

One of the most popular and strongest-smelling candles from Bath & Body Works, Mahogany Teakwood is a masuline, woodsy fragrance with notes of rich mahogany, teakwood, oak and frosted lavender. A great gift for your brother, husband or boyfriend, the scent is very much like a mens’ cologne. (Here are the best Bath & Works candle scents for men.)

Best winter: Yankee Candle in Balsam & Cedar

With over 17,000 positive reviews on Amazon, the Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar fragrance is a best seller across the world. Perfect for the festive season or a Christmas gift, this candle has notes of crisp citrus, pine balsam and vanilla.

Best summer: Yankee Candle in Pink Sands

Transport yourself to an exotic island in your mind with this summery candle which has scents of bright citrus, sweet florals and spicy vanilla. This variety of Yankee Candle has over 15,000 positive reviews on Amazon, making it the best selling summer candle of the year.

Best for bedroom: Chesapeake Bay Candle in Peace + Tranquility

The bedroom should be a haven of relaxation and this candle  by Chesapeake Bay offers just that with a comforting fragrance of cashmere, white musk, jasmine and lily of the valley. The soft frosted glass jar allows the flame to shine through, creating a peaceful ambience.

Best for bathroom: Cedar Crate Market Please Don’t Do Coke In Our Bathroom

This fun candle has a humorous slogan on the label to remind your guests not to snort booger sugar in your bathroom! As well as being a cute and funny gift, this candle also smells incredible, with aromas of citrus, jasmine and lavender.

Which candle brand smells the strongest?

According to online forums, the strongest scented candles are Bath & Body Works candles. Many people mention one particular candle as being particularly strong-smelling – the Mahogany Teakwood High Intensity Candle.

Reviewers have commented how this candle ‘smells strong enough without even lighting it’ or that they ‘can only light it for 30 minutes before it becomes too much’. As this is a three-wick candle, we could suggest placing it in a large room or hallway, and perhaps only lighting one wick at a time if the smell is too strong.

If you wish to make candles smell stronger you can:

RELATED: Best Scented Bath and Body Works Candles

What are the longest-lasting scented candles?

Many people in online forums report that whilst Bath & Body Works candles are the strongest,  Yankee candles are the longest-lasting. This is mainly down to the fact that most Bath & Body Works candles have a triple wick, which burns the wax much faster than the single wicks found in most Yankee candles.

There are several factors that affect how long a candle will last for:

  • The size of the candle
  • The shape of the candle
  • The type of wax used
  • The quality of the wicking
  • The number of wicks

Generally, the larger a candle is, the longer it will last. The shape is also important, with round candles burning more evenly than other shapes.

Beeswax candles burn for about twice as long as similarly-sized soy wax candles, but they do also cost more.

The quality of the wick is also important, as if the wick is of poor quality it may burn away leaving a larger amount of wax left in the candle. A candle with multiple wicks will always burn faster than a candle with a single wick.

Some candle brands such as Sand + Fog come with warnings that state that you should not burn the last quarter of the candle because it could cause the glass surround to crack. This will also impact on the lifespan of the candle.

What are the healthiest candles?

While candles can help to create a serene environment which reduces stress, there are claims that certain candles can actually be bad for our health because they can pollute the air inside our homes with toxins.

If you suffer from asthma or are concerned about toxic candles, you should avoid paraffin wax, metal wicks and synthetic fragrances. Instead, look for soy or beeswax candles with wicks made from braided cotton or paper and fragrances which are made from 100% plant-based essential oils.

You can also make your own candles at home using soy or beeswax and high quality essential oils.

RELATED: 15 Easy DIY Candle Ideas that Smell Heavenly

Why are Yankee Candles bad?

Yankee candles, like most modern candles, contain paraffin wax. One study found that burning paraffin wax candles releases toxic chemicals such as toluene. However, the European Candle Association disputes this claim and states that “no reputable scientific study has ever shown any candle wax, including paraffin, to be harmful to human health.”

What’s the most expensive candle?

If you’re looking for the very best in luxury candles, you may wish to consider some of the more expensive candle brands.

The world’s most expensive candle was created by British brand Owen Drew to celebrate the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This candle came with a 24-carat gold candle holder and cost $1000. Only fourteen of the limited-edition candles were made, with one being gifted to the royal couple, so this is no longer an option for anyone looking for an expensive candle.

Other top candle brands for people with deep pockets include:

What candles do celebrities use?

Celebrities tend to go for luxury candle brands such as Diptyque, Tobi Torbin and Byredo. We know this because they sometimes mention their favorite candles in magazine interviews or candles may be spotted by fans in their Instagram posts.

According to, the favorite candles of celebrities are:

What are the best-selling candles?

The most searched-for candles online are Yankee Candles, with The Yankee Candle Company being the largest candle manufacturer in the United States. Woodwick candles are also very popular and this brand is also part of The Yankee Candle Company.

The third most popular candle brand after Yankee Candle and Woodwick is Bath & Body Works. This brand has been rapidly-growing in popularity over the past couple of years, becoming a strong contender to Yankee Candle as the world’s top candle brand.

Why are Yankee candles so expensive?

Yankee candles are expensive because they are large, they last a long time and they are of high quality. If you consider the price per gram of wax, the burn time and the throw (scent strength), you would find that Yankee candles offer better value for money than most other candle brands.

Yankee Candles versus Bath & Body Works

So you might be wondering, are Yankee candles better than Bath & Body Works? Or is the popularity of Yankee candle all down to marketing?

According to Makenzie Paulson, who has worked as a manager at both Yankee Candle and Bath & Body works, both brands have their advantages. She says:

“For the same size, Bath & Body Works candles have a heavier scent, because their mouths don’t taper towards the top. However, Yankee Candle has a much better variety with bigger and smaller candles and different brands such as Chesapeake Bay and Woodwick.”

She continues…

“A medium-sized Yankee Candle (14.5-oz) will burn for twice as long as a Bath & Body Works candle (14-oz), for the same price. This is partially due to the triple wick found in Bath & Body Works candles versus the single wick in a Yankee Candle. A large Yankee Candle will burn up to four times as long as a Bath & Body Works candle for $5 more.”


Yankee Candle Vs Bath & Body Works Price Comparison

To make a fair comparison between the two brands, we compared the size, burn time and price of three-wick candles…

Yankee Candle 3-wick candleBath & Body Works 3-wick candle
Burn Time30 to 50 hours25 to 45 hours

Are Bath & Body Works candles worth the money?

Bath & Body Works candles can be fairly expensive at $24.50 for a 14.5-oz three-wick candle. With a higher price and shorter burn time compared to the most popular Yankee candles, you might wonder if Bath & Body Works candles are worth it.

The answer is that Bath & Body Works candles are only worth the money if you don’t pay full price for them! The company regularly has sales with up to 50% off candles, plus coupons for further discounts are easy to come by.

The most popular candle scents for 2021

If you’re looking for the best candles to buy as a gift, then you can’t go wrong with any of these best-selling scents…

Most popular Yankee Candle scents

The best selling Yankee Candle scented candles are:

  1. MidSummer’s Night
  2. Home Sweet Home
  3. Clean Cotton
  4. Macintosh
  5. Pink Sands
  6. Vanilla Cupcake
  7. Lemon Lavender
  8. Sage & Citrus
  9. Lilac Blossoms
  10. Coconut Beach

Most popular Bath & Body Works candle scents

The best selling Bath & Body Works scented candles are:

  1. Eucalyptus Spearmint
  2. Mahogany Teakwood
  3. Rainforest Gardenia
  4. Champagne Toast
  5. Rose Vanilla
  6. Black Cherry Merlot
  7. Eucalyptus Tea
  8. Butterscotch Toffee
  9. Berry Waffle Cone
  10. Lavender Cedarwood


The most popular candles are undoubtedly Yankee candles, with the most popular scents from this brand being homely fragrances such as MidSummer’s Night, Home Sweet Home and Clean Cotton. Another popular candle brand to consider is Bath & Body Works, but only if the candles are on special offer, as most people agree that they aren’t worth paying full price for.

While celebrities might go for luxury candles by the likes of Diptyque, Byredo and Jo Malone, these can be eye-wateringly expensive. If you’re looking for a candle as a gift, you may be safer to go for one of the most popular brands like Yankee Candle or Bath & Body Works and to choose from the list of most popular candle fragrances.

When buying candles online, it’s always a good idea to read the reviews for yourself so that you can be sure that they will be strong-smelling and long-lasting.

More Candle Ideas:

Most Masculine Candle Scents at Bath and Body Works

Best Affordable Candles {that are actually worth buying}

Best Bath & Body Works Candles (According to Reviews)

Best Scented Candles in the World

Strongest Smelling Bath & Body Works Candles

15 Easy DIY Candle Ideas

The Best Candle Scents for Men {masculine, woodsy and mysterious}

Most Popular Candle Scents

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